Villarreal and Athletic are vying for the final ticket to Europe, while one relegation place has yet to be decided, and three teams are sweating to avoid relegation.
The final week of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season is here and there is still much to be decided in Round 38, as we still don’t know who will finish last in European qualification or which team will actually join the second division. Deportivo Alaves and Levante UD are coming down to LaLiga SmartBank.
These two fights will end on Sunday evening. Cádiz CF, RCD Mallorca and Granada CF are the three clubs that can still be relegated and will play their matches at 20:00 CET on Sunday. Then, at 22:00 CET, Villarreal and Athletic will be on the road as they aim to finish seventh and qualify for the UEFA Conference League.
There are still individual trophies being awarded as well, so here’s a look at everything ready to grab in round 38 of this exciting season.
Relegation battle: Which one of the Cádiz CF, RCD Mallorca or Granada CF will go down?
Deportivo Alaves and Levante UD are already relegated and they are sure to make up for the last two places, but the fight to avoid the 18th place still remains. It couldn’t get any tighter as Cádiz CF is currently out of the relegation zone, but they are 36 points behind 17th-placed RCD and just one point behind 16th-placed Granada CF.
In round 38, fans of these clubs will follow the latest developments in the three matches: Granada CF vs RCD Espanyol, CA Osasuna vs RCD Mallorca, Deportivo Alavés vs Cádiz CF.
Anything can happen, including the need to break the tie head on. If two or more teams finish equally on points in Spain’s first division, their direct records are the first criteria used to divide them. It is important to know, therefore, that RCD Mallorca holds this tiebreak on Cádiz CF, Granada CF holds it on RCD Mallorca and is level between Cádiz CF and Granada CF, so the overall goal difference will be decisive in this case. If all three teams finish with 37 points, which they can, it will be Cadiz who will suffer relegation.
Last place in Europe: Villarreal or Athletic will be the first representative of Spain in the Conference League
In terms of qualifying for next year’s UEFA tournaments, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid and Seville FC Sevilla have wrapped up the four places in the UEFA Champions League, while Real Betis and Real Sociedad will participate in the Europa League. But seventh place and a conference league berth are still close at hand.
Currently, Villarreal occupies this place with 56 points, but Athletic is a little behind with 55 points. On Sunday evening, that race to Europe will be decided, with Barcelona’s match against Villarreal, Sevilla and Athletic Club taking place at the same time.
In this case, if the Basques tied and the Yellow Submarine lost, the Athletic Club would have finished seventh in the tiebreak. Given that no Spanish team participated in the inaugural season of the Conference League, it would give them the honor of being the first representative of LaLiga Santander in this new continental tournament.
Individual awards: Benzema, Aspas and Bono lead the way
It’s not just the clubs with a lot at stake in Round 38, as some individual titles still have to be won. Karim Benzema is set to win his first Pichichi Award, for the tournament’s top scorer, with 27 goals, far ahead of the 18 goals scored by Iago Aspas. However, the RC Celta striker still has something to play for as he can win the Zara Cup for Spain’s top scorer, who is currently led by RCD Espanyol’s Raul de Tomas and Real Betis’ Juanmi, who have scored 17 and 16 goals respectively.
Next, there is the Zamora Cup for the goalkeeper with the best goals-per-match percentage. Bono could become the first-ever Sevilla player to win this award, having conceded 0.77 goals per game, but Thibaut Courtois trails behind that by close to 0.83. If Bono conceded more goals in Seville and Athletic Club than Courtois in the match between Real Madrid and Real Betis, the prize will go to the Belgian.